Morris’s gloom sometimes leads him to inflammatory conclusions. He recently suggested to an Israeli journalist that perhaps Ben-Gurion “should have done a complete job” of removing Arabs from the land that became Israel. “If he had carried out a full expulsion — rather than a partial one — he would have stabilized the State of Israel for generations,” Morris explained.
In “One State, Two States,” he argues that this most enduring of conflicts is primarily cultural, not political. Between Arabs and Israelis, “the value placed on human life and the rule of (secular) law is completely different,” he writes, “as exhibited, in Israel itself, in the vast hiatus between Jewish and Arab perpetration of crimes and lethal road traffic violations.” But might the differences also be explained by higher rates of poverty among Arab Israelis?